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Lycamobile "swallowing" pay-as-you-go balance, blocking number and resisting resolution


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My partner has a number with Lycamobile.
She has had it for +10 years as a Pay-As-You-Go deal.
The duration of tenancy in this number is why she needs to keep this number (although we are obviously considering to switch out of Lyca in light of the current problem).

The first issue was a couple of months ago, when she had topped up with £20 and, within a few days, her balance was about £5 but the number was absolutely blocked (no in/out).
She raised the issue with them and got no response.
She created an account in their online system and was able to see "Other charges, £15". No explanation (data, calls and text are shown with detail but this charge - not).
She then proceeded to raise this with PayPal, through which she topped up.

Meanwhile, she needed to unblock the phone (expecting job offer), so topped up with another £20.
A few days ago, while still having a lot of this balance left, the number was totally blocked again. Even the online account was disabled.

She could not call Citizen's Advice because they require her to validate her citizen status via the phone number they have for her (which happens to be the number that's currently blocked).

She called Lycamobile from a different number, where they told her that her account is blocked because they are punishing her for raising a PayPal dispute and she needs to pay £40 just

to unblock that number!

All of this sounds like Lyca are doing what they want with her money and we don't know who can hold them to account and resolve this in a fair way to both sides.

Who can we complain to? Someone who can actually chase them on this?

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Update: we cannot ditch Lyca. We need a PAC code for this and they do not provide it because the number is blocked by their punishment measures.
In our second call to customer service, they said it's actually £70 to pay first and then they decide whether to unblock or not.
- Which only sounds more like they have all the power and no accountability or regulation!

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You've been here since early 2017. This means that you should be well aware of our advice to record all your calls and read our customer services guide and implement the advice there.

If you had recorded this call then it would have been dynamite. Do they really use the word "punish"?

Sort out your call recording. Have another call – maybe several – and leave the conversation to a point where they make the same admissions. Then come back here.

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I thought voice recording is not admissible in court?
I don't think they actually use the word punish. It's through my partner, who barely speaks English.
Problem is by the time I am back home, their CS will be closed. She can't handle it herself.

If that's the only way you can help, I will work from home tomorrow

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I see that on trust pilot, Lycamobile have one star ratings of 47% https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.lycamobile.co.uk

That is massive. Trustpilot has a bit of a reputation companies putting up their own five-star reviews so to have 47% negative reviews means that there is a serious problem with this company and people should stay well clear

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I bet she has inadvertently signed up to one of these text dating sites or another [problem] that takes a fixed sum of money out of your phone balance each week - look carefully at the usage statement online

 

there was one on here a few months ago that was the result an issue like this.

 

dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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3 minutes ago, DraxDomax said:

I thought voice recording is not admissible in court?
I don't think they actually use the word punish. It's through my partner, who barely speaks English.
Problem is by the time I am back home, their CS will be closed. She can't handle it herself.

If that's the only way you can help, I will work from home tomorrow

 

I'm afraid that we have to rely on what you tell us and the evidence you get.

If you say that they told her that she was being punished then how would we know any different?
I think the starting point here will be to find out exactly what's going on and let us know. When we have something solid and definite to work on then maybe we can give you some useful advice.

 

And of course if you read our customer services guide, then you wouldn't have any doubts about the validity or the usefulness of call recordings

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Get a call recording app on your phone and use it to record any calls, transcribe them and save the recordings, they will be useful to challenge them later, you can also do a SAR under GDPR to see what they data they have, that is now free and again might be useful.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

 

The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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Have you tried this to get a new PAC code? https://www.paccodes.co.uk/

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48816459

 

 

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1 hour ago, BankFodder said:

Have you tried this to get a new PAC code? https://www.paccodes.co.uk/

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48816459

 

 


They say to send an SMS with PAC to 65075 - we already know this. We can't do it, because the number is absolutely blocked for in/out (text, voice and data).
They also say, like all the other sites: "LycaMobile, your provider, must give you your PAC"
- It's nice to know that they "must" but what to do when they refuse anyway?...

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Well see if you can get a recording of what they say and then come back here and tell us and we'll see if we can come up with some ideas. I expect that you will probably have to you get into conflict with them

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Raise a Formal Complaint possibly and would OFCOM be any use or be a paper tiger.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

 

The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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  • 5 months later...

Update: Issue resolved!

We finally found some time both of us to sit down, prepare recording equipment, all the info they might ask and a copy of OFCOM's "General Conditions of Entitlement" at hand...

We were prepared for a passive-aggressive exchange but perhaps we landed on a rep that just didn't give a fork.

While their SMS and Web service blocked our PAC request, the rep on the phone didn't refer to any of our disputes in the past and just manually sent me the PAC over SMS. I stayed on the line a minute until it was indeed received.

I will say he started with "in order to send a PAC request, you will need to send an SMS to 65... and, for that, you will need to top up" - at which point I quoted C7.26 from GCoE "will provide the PAC number free of charge" and then suddenly it had occurred to him that he can just ask us the date of birth of the account holder to satisfy that it is indeed us...

Called Vodafone, provided the PAC and the switch has come through :) A day will be required for all the technical stuff to fall in place but I feel like we are out of the woods...

Still, a negative score for Lycamobile for making this so dramatic... They do have some attractive packages and I would have been happy to come back and use when needed, if it wasn't for their terrible treatment of customers until now.

Thanks to all who have contributed, of course!

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